You might hear the term website traffic and wonder “what is website traffic?”. It certainly isn’t vehicles driving on your website, so what is website traffic and what does it mean for your business?
Website traffic is the people visiting your website
Broadly speaking, the term website traffic is the number of people who visit your website. You would normally look at daily visitors or weekly or monthly visitors to determine the traffic to your site.
Without traffic, no one is seeing your website, finding out more about you, buying anything, making phone calls or signing up for anything.
Let’s look at some of the terms around traffic and what they mean.
A person visiting a page on your website would be classed as a “hit”, and in Google analytics, that visitor would be classed as a “user”, and a user visiting and browsing your site and visiting one or multiple pages would be a “session”. A user returning to your site would increase the number of sessions to your website, but not the number of users recorded in Google Analytics as they have already registered as a user.
The overall traffic in reporting terms would normally be classed as a session.
Where can your website traffic come from?
Website traffic can come from a number of different sources. If you’re to looking to increase the performance of your website you would normally want to increase your traffic to your website.
Typically, in any analytics report, you would see traffic from:
Direct: People who have directly typed your domain name or come back to your website from their search history.
Organic Search: People who have found your website in the organic search listings – the non-paid part of the search engines.
Social: Social Media will be another source of traffic, so anyone visiting via a social media channel – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
Paid Search: This will be anyone visiting your website from paid search engines – Google/Bing ads etc.
Referral: This is all the visitors that have come to your website via another website that isn’t a social media channel or search engine, so this could be a news outlet that links back to your website.
Email: If you have visitors that have come to you via an email campaign, these will be shown here.
What else should you monitor other than the top-line traffic/sessions data?
Traffic is important – without traffic, no one is seeing your website, finding out more about you, buying anything, making phone calls or signing up for anything. You need traffic, but monitoring traffic is just the start. There are other areas that you should be looking at.
Bounce rate: How many people visited your website and left after only viewing one page? The bounce rate, measured in percentage terms should be as low as possible! This is one metric that you should be looking to drive down in your analytics data. Look at the number of pages that have a high bounce rate and identify what you can do to move people onto other parts of your website and drive them to information that is going to get them to engage, sign up or buy from you.
Conversion rate: The other big one to look at is the conversion rate of your visitors. In e-commerce, this is fairly straightforward – how many people bought from you? On other websites, this requires a definition of what a conversion is and then working back from that. In a business to business sense – you might want to see how many people completed a contact form to enquire from you or how many people signed up for your latest whitepaper.
Cost Per Acquisition: As well as measuring the data around traffic, you need to measure how much it cost to attract that visitor to your website. If you’re paying for SEO or running paid ads via social media, then there’s a cost to those visitors and you should look at that in relation to your overall traffic data.
How can you increase traffic?
There are various ways to increase traffic to your website. These can include:
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation, driving people searching for your website to your site by making it easier to find in the search engines.
Social Media: Social media is a great way to talk to your customers directly. It’s also a really powerful way to send traffic to your websites.
Email: Email Marketing is still an under-used tool for driving traffic to your website. When targetted with great messaging it’s extremely important to boosting website traffic.
Paid Advertising: Either paid advertising via search engines such as Google, or paid ads on social media can be a really great way to drive traffic to your website.
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What is Meant by Website Traffic?
Written By Adam Burrage
Managing Partner at Trident
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